The Bacon Slicer (700c x 23 mm) is as mad as a box of frogs, and today I’ve added more frogs: at the suggestion of Rogeratunicycledotcom himself, I have put some 80mm cranks on.
For the first time in my career, I have a uni with cranks less than half as long as the cranks on another one of my unis. (165s on the KH24.)
First impressions… a quick blast up and down the path outside my house, in the dark and in the rain… mounting took immense concentration but I managed it second time… smoooooooth progress… perilous deceleration… oooer. More follows.
80mm cranks are silly but fun, and encourage cruising at a high speed. They are very smooth.
On the other hand, they impose long stopping distances, are a liability on any but the gentlest slope, and make tight corners and rough ground much more challenging.
My background: many many 15 - 30 mile rides on a 28 or a Coker, and a few longer rides up to about 55 miles. I’ve been riding “seriously” for about 5 years, and less seriously for about 19 years. I have a 20, 24, 26, 28 and Coker, and have experimented with cranks from 80 mm to 170 mm - although not all possible combinations of wheel/crank. I’m used to riding for miles at a time without a UPD on varied but not extreme terrain. I’m a reasonably fit 43 year old, and only weigh about 11 stone/155 pounds - which affects control of short cranks on large wheels.
Against that background, I find no benefit in ultra short cranks, other than the silliness factor. It might be different on the Coker. I prefer to ride my Coker on 150s, and be able to cope with all terrain, rather than putting shorter cranks on and being limited in where I can go.